Month: August 2014

Ekiben – Box lunch sold at a railway station

Ekiben is a box lunch sold at a railway station. “Eki” means railway station and “ben” is the first syllabic character of “bento” meaning lunch box. Until the 1980s, when we traveled around Japan, railway was the main method of transportation. Most of long-distance trains had a dining car. But only a part of the passengers could have dinner in the car because of a limited number of tables. Other many passengers had Ekiben bought at any station. In those days, some ekiben sellers waited for the arrival of trains on the platform. As soon as the train arrived, they sold ekiben walking along the train during the short stoppage […]

Major festivals in Japan

Main religions in Japan are Buddhism and Shinto. Because Buddhism and Shinto are quite different from one another, most Japanese separate them in a real-life situation. (For your information, Japanese Christians constitute only 1% of the population and only several thousand of Japanese Muslim are in Japan.) Believers in Buddhism pray to Buddha statue which is the incarnation of Buddha. Therefore, there are some Buddha statues in the main hall of Buddhist temple. Shinto is an indigenous religion of Japan. Many gods created the world and we believe that they live in huge natural objects such as mountain, waterfalls, gigantic stone, old huge tree, etc. The popular sacred objects are […]

Unlimited passes to travel around Kyoto

Kyoto had been the central city of Japan from 794 until the capital function was moved to Tokyo in 1869. The city was built on a grid and the Emperor had lived in the city the whole time. There are still many old folk house and temples in the city. Some of them are be designated a World Heritage Site and Kyoto is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. When you plan to visit Japan, I think you add to visit Kyoto in your plan once at least. There is no airport around Kyoto, and the nearest airport is Kansai Airport located 100km southwest of the city. It […]

Sushi is Japanese people’s favorite food.

Sushi is a Japanese food recognized by the world. Japanese people really like sushi. Sushi is made by mixing vinegar into boiled rice. Of course, it is the base of sushi and sushi as a dish is served as follows. 1) Nigiri-zushi (Hand-rolled sushi) : Put a sliced fish on a handful vinegared rice. 2) Maki-zushi (Sushi roll) : Put vinegared rice and ingredients on a sheet of nori (laver), then roll it. 3) Chirashi-zushi : Put vinegared rice into a bowl and put various ingredients on it. 4) Oshi-zushi (Pressed sushi) : Put vinegared rice and ingredients into wooden mold and press it. 5) Inari-zushi : Put vinegared rice […]

Popular sightseeing spot top 30 in Japan among foreign travelers in 2014

The ranking by word of mouth on the website of TripAdvisor was published. (The total from April in 2013 to March in 2014) 1. Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine (Kyoto city) 2. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum (Hiroshima city) 3. Itsukushima Shrine (near Hiroshima city) 4. Kinkakuji temple (Kyoto city) 5. Todaiji temple (Nara city) 6. Okunoin mausoleum in Koyasan, the headquarters of Shingon Buddhism 7. Kiyomizudera temple (Kyoto city) 8. Shinjuku Gyoen garden (Tokyo) 9. Hakone Open-Air Museum 10. Narita-san Shinshoji temple (near Narita Airport) 11. Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium 12. Matsumoto castle (Matsumoto city) 13. Sanjusangen-do temple (Kyoto city) 14. Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama (Kyoto city) 15. Kenrokuen garden (Kanazawa city) 16. […]

Discount ticket to travel around Tokyo

When foreign travelers travel around Japan, they visit Tokyo at least once. In Tokyo, there are old and new sightseeing spots, unique Japanese subculture such as anime and manga catch to the eye, and there are various shopping areas. If you want to enjoy Tokyo without effort, one way is to participate in a tour of Hato Bus. It is a popular tour bus, and you can choose a favorite tour from several types of Tokyo tours for foreign tourists. But, Tokyo is not so wide. It is easy to travel around Tokyo by train and subway. Means of transportation in the central area of Tokyo There are most sightseeing […]